“On August 27, I set out with a goal of raising $200,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. In the three weeks that followed – thanks to the unprecedented support and generosity of over 200,000 donors from across the country and around the world – we raised over $37 million. With such incredible support like this comes tremendous responsibility. I have spent the greater part of the last month and a half doing my due diligence and meeting with and speaking to as many resources as possible. While I understand the total recovery from Hurricane Harvey could require upwards of $200 billion, and this $37 million will not be able to help every single person as I so badly wish it could, I have made it my mission to ensure this money makes as large of an impact as possible.”
Thank you for the tremendous support of the Houston Flood Relief Fundraiser we had. With the funding distributed to the four organizations that we have partnered with we know that it will impact those that need it the most. While we are receiving updates and photos from the four organizations, our team has returned now their focus to our After School Athletic mission. Thank you for your support for the Houston Flood Relief and the ongoing support of the After School Athletics Mission. Dream Big, Work Hard!
– The JJ Watt Foundation
While we are no longer accepting hurricane relief donations, you can still donate to the four organizations below or another of your choice:
The night of August 25th, Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Rockport, TX, as a Category 4 hurricane. With winds gusting up to 132 mph, entire blocks were razed to the ground.
On August 26th, Harvey, now a tropical storm, moved towards Houston and then, over the next 4 days, dropped 19 trillion gallons of rain. Almost 30% of the land area of Harris county was submerged. The storm caused more than $125 billion in damages and, tragically, 89 people lost their lives.
On August 27th, JJ started a fundraising campaign on YouCaring to raise $200k to help fund the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. After adding the initial $100k himself, the fundraiser met its $200k goal in less than two hours. JJ upped the goal to $500k, and after YouCaring briefly crashed from the sheer amount of people trying to donate, that goal was met within 24 hours.
In just 20 days, over 200,000 people donated $37,068,102 to the Houston Flood Relief Fund, including $1,000,000 donations from Amy Adams Strunk & the Tennessee Titans, Ellen Degeneres & Walmart, Jimmy Fallon & The Tonight Show, and Aspire Commodities, as well as a $5,000,000 donation from Charles Butt, CEO of H-E-B. Even with these large donations, it was through the caring of every person who donated that we were able to achieve such an amazing and inspiring goal. The lessons taught to young children bringing in a plastic bag of coins was priceless. The generosity shown brought us all together to help those in need. That is the power of humanity and that we are so proud to be a part of! Together, we made a difference!
While monetary donations were rolling in on YouCaring, the JJ Watt Foundation was organizing relief supply donations in Wisconsin to bring down to Houston and the surrounding areas. We were able to send 10 semi trucks loaded with goods to help start the recovery efforts.
On September 3rd, at 4 locations around the Houston area, JJ, with the help of several Texans teammates and countless volunteers, distributed the ten semi trucks worth of supplies to people in need.
On October 26th, JJ announced the plan for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. $30.15 million was distributed to 4 partners – Americares, Feeding America, Save the Children, & SBP – to be deployed over the course of 18-24 months. These funds will be used to rebuild homes, restore child-care centers, provide food, and address health needs of those most affected by Hurricane Harvey. The remaining $7 million will be distributed in 2018 as we determine where the money would go towards the greatest benefit.